(03-05-21) Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 379,000 in February, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 6.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The labor market continued to reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In February, most of the job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, with smaller gains in temporary help services, health care and social assistance, retail trade, and manufacturing. Employment declined in state and local government education, construction, and mining. This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household survey measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics. The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry. For more information about the concepts and statistical methodology used in these two surveys, see the Technical Note. Household Survey Data – Both the unemployment rate, at 6.2 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at 10.0 million, changed little in February. Although both measures are much lower than their April 2020 highs, they remain well above their pre-pandemic levels in February 2020 (3.5 percent and 5.7 million, respectively). (See table A-1. See the box note at the end of this news release for more information about how the household survey and its measures were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.) Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for Asians declined to 5.1 percent in February. The rates for adult men (6.0 percent), adult women (5.9 percent), teenagers (13.9 percent), Whites (5.6 percent), Blacks (9.9 percent), and Hispanics (8.5 percent) showed little or no change. Among the unemployed, the number of persons on temporary layoff fell by 517,000 in February to 2.2 million. This measure is 1.5 million higher than the level a year earlier but is down considerably from the recent high of 18.0 million in April 2020. The number of permanent job losers, at 3.5 million, was essentially unchanged in February but is 2.2 million higher than a year earlier. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 4.1 million, changed little over the month but is up by 3.0 million over the year. In February, these long-term unemployed accounted for 41.5 percent of the total unemployed. The number of persons jobless less than 5 weeks, at 2.2 million, also changed little over the month. The labor force participation rate remained at 61.4 percent in February. This measure is 1.9 percentage points lower than the value a year earlier. The employment-population ratio, at 57.6 percent, changed little over the month but is down by 3.5 percentage points over the year. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 6.1 million, changed little in February but is up by 1.7 million over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. In February, the number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 6.9 million, little changed over the month but up by 1.9 million over the year. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the last 4 weeks or were unavailable to take a job. Among those not in the labor force who currently want a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.9 million, was essentially unchanged in February but is up by 453,000 over the year. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. The number of discouraged workers, a subset of the marginally attached who believed that no jobs were available for them, was 522,000 in February, little changed from the previous month but up by 121,000 over the year.
The Employment Situation (03-05-21)
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